The second show we attended at the Textile Museum,

 I called it the flower show but it was really “Bliss: Garden real and imagined”. I went because I thought my girlfriend would enjoy it and I could endure. Not so much! My friend loved it but so did I. I liken this to the time I decided to put the word GOD back in my vocabulary. Why I removed GOD from my vocabulary was because of my own prejudices about religion.  Then I discovered the accumulated energy around the world and it was powerful. Well … flowers are similar.

I never use flowers in my work. Somewhere along the way I decided I am not a flower person, I filed them under too feminine, too over used and too pretty.  It must have been in a less enlightened time. I can’t believe I would discount such amazing beauty, such opportunity, and such accumulated history. My eyes have been opened, I am awake now!

The images are just a few from the show. It examined ways garden images have been used on textiles throughout history, all over the world. A timeless universal language.

Edited by Wendy Keir-Mattice

I’m not ready to leave summer behind, but the fall term is on it’s way. I have had the best summer, even though it was way too hot for me. I actually bought an air conditioner for my studio and even slept outside one night to escape the heat. This summer I took a trip for entirely personal reasons, I went north to the Yukon to visit my youngest son. The Yukon is truly amazing, the space, the landscape, the people, the food, the artists, the used book stores and just relaxing (okay … I did bring back some fantastic enamel pins by an artist in Juno.)

I never actually get away from the shop. It is a reflection of who I am, what I like and what interests me. I’m a pretty lucky person because I get to pursue my passion every day!

Near the end of the summer I treated myself to a day in Toronto with a girlfriend. It was supposed to be to celebrate my birthday but with our schedules, it didn’t occur until August 8th. Wow! What an amazing day. I saw four different shows that day so next four blogs I will give you an idea of what a great day I had.




The first show we went to Chihuilly exhibition. If you haven’t seen it get your butt out of that chair and get yourself down to the ROM. You only need coloured glass and light to alter your state of mind. Now seeing the glass, the colour, the forms, the contrast, the structure, the evolution of his work was truly mind blowing and humbling.  Take me at my word when I say “mind altering”. The whole thing was viewed from that artist’s state of mind. I loved it so much. Please don’t miss the reflections and the shadows. The displays are so powerfully vivid it’s difficult to look away, but look at the walls and down at the floor for the reflections and the shadows. For me half of this exciting show was the magic that occurred in the reflections and shadows. I was also lucky enough to be there with a room full of kids. The eyes of the children and the unbridled reaction, the joy spilling over and filling the room. I so wished I had brought my granddaughter to experience the magical fantasy world of Chihuilly. Please don’t miss it.

Edited by Wendy Keir-Mattice

I have a confession. I am cheating on you. I hope you will forgive me. I truly believe what I am doing will make me a better and more consistent blogger.

Every morning even before my coffee I write three pages. This exercise is called Morning Papers. I am re-establishing the pattern from years ago, in preparation for doing another one of Julia Cameron’s books. The first one I did, easily 25 plus years ago, was the Artist Way. The one I am planning on starting is titled  Finding Water. During this exploration I have come across two more books that I am working on The Accidental Genius by Mark Levy and Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice by Todd Henry. Both are demanding  my attention at the moment.

Both these books have shaken me to the core,  I am in transition.

I seem to be swimming in murky water, unknown territory! Every so often, these beautiful  sparkly or sometimes crystal  clear patches come floating by.  I get all excited  and head towards them but I can’t stay  within them. And I find myself once again in the murky unknown. Only this time I have a gurgling or bubbly sensation deep inside that in some way gives colour to fog and add a sense of excitement and hope,  for what is out there, or is it in here and gurgling up.

Other times, I feel  I have easy access to thousands of ideas kind of like I am reading a book, where all new ideas are stored. It is exciting and  yet overwhelming. I  am now trying to keep list.   Things are going by so quickly I seem to  lose whole concepts as they  pass through me.

Why am I telling you this, Good question? I just want you to know I am nearby, I am safe, I am searching, learning and changing. I treasure our time together and I am preparing to spend more time with you. Your attention, the fact you stop by and read this blog means a lot to me. You are a life raft.

I’d love to tell you I miss you but truth be told I am almost afraid to blog these days. I feel jagged and raw!  I am afraid to get out of the water. If I get out and sit in boat, I may never get back in.  I am out on a limb and as long as I keep looking at the view I am fine. It is when I look back at the tree or down at the ground things start to  slide  sideways. I want to write-through it…. but the consequences could be disastrous.

I am working on all kind of new ideas for the Fall term. Way too many! I hope I settle soon.

My summer is starting out with a trip up north to see my son. Dave and I are so very excited. Not only to see Aaron and Jess because it has been way too long but to see the north. I have only been up in the winter and experienced its silence in its colourless state, and Dave has never been. Also we haven’t had time off since the Japanese trip which  was cut short. We do love to travel and we love to travel together. I am giddy with anticipation.

This morning  I am teaching my linking leather class. I am so looking forward to it. It has two of my loves, leather and seedbeads. I am very excited about all the wet forming, I have been doing and exploring ways to share it in the fall. It is just  I know there is so much more to explore. I sense something major just beyond my reach. I know it has to do with my belief in myself not my  work. It is all so exciting.

Not only is my work changing… but my approach to my work is changing. I am changing I am becoming new!!











Cindy’s Goldrick  Advanced fold forming classes got our Sunday morning classes off to very loud beginning. Seriously the class went extremely well. The results truly  amazing. It always rewarding to see people marvel at how metal can curve and twist by hammering it. Metal classes are proving to be a new obsession for me and Cindy is a natural with tools. It is hard to believe I didn’t even want a cash register in the shop (I considered it my studio) when I opened 2o years ago, because I didn’t like the noise. With the addition of metal  I have had to make peace with noise. I have and I am glad I did. The addition of a whole new group of artist is exciting. I wish I would remember to take pictures. I am just so busy having fun, learning and making sure everyone is busy learning. At one point I look up and  seven people  were all  in my little metal shop, it was  crazy! Just a little insider scoop, I am planning a little expansion and the metal shop is about to grow!! More about that when I actually have some time for planning at this point it is just a dream.

Leather has also become a big part of my life and the shop’s classes. For

image ink art bracelet this weekend. (Sunday afternoon)

image ink art bracelet this weekend. (Sunday afternoon)

those of you following this blog you know I am  extremely impressed with Lezlie Winemaker’s new Imagine Leather line of custom printed leather. This talented woman is teaching us how to tool her images this weekend.

Oh I am getting ahead of myself!! In  the morning class Lezlie  is using  a wet  forming techniques to make “Mushroom earrings.”  I know she has made her creation

Image ink art bracelet

Image ink art bracelet

into earrings but they could be end caps for a beaded rope, bead caps (they can be done in any size) or you could even put both halves together to make a leather bead.  This class may seem straight forward but the hidden potential  of wet forming is mind-blowing, trust me. I am finding wet forming as exciting as fold forming in metal. You will too

more images for Sunday's class

more images for Sunday’s class

once you get further into it. This is just the beginning!

Ok now back to tooling on Lezli

Sunday mornings class "mushroom earrings "

Sunday mornings class “mushroom earrings “

e’s  leather. Lezlie has brought the tooling technique into modern times. I always loved tooled leather  For me when Lezlie adds tooling to her images they jump to life!!  So come and get some basic instruction in this timeless art form. It is an art form, and has tools that are

Buckle a bezel one of the ones that got missed.

Buckle a bezel one of the ones that got missed.

needed. So be prepared to have another addiction and I will  be prepared to give a 20% discount on the tooling tools during the class.

The classes that didn’t get on the brochure(in error) are two of Lezlie’s classes as well. Body Art on Sunday May 15 and

another example of Buckle a Bezel

another example of Buckle a Bezel

Buckle a Bezel Bracelet again on May 15 in the afternoon. They are listed on the website now, right down at the bottom(out of sequence).

Body Art is a reversible necklace of course using Lezlie’s new printed leather. You can add your own

Body art necklace, again one that got left off the brochure.

Body art necklace, again one that got left off the brochure.

expression to this piece with a pendant some sparkle or one of Lezlie’s hand made beads.

The Buckle a Bezel Bracelet is the one I wanted to draw attention to because the image is tooled on the band but the class will focus on the wire work and the buckle-like removable wire bezel. It is this Sunday’s class you will learn the tooling if you want to add it to this piece or many more pieces in your future.











 I am excited,

Today life seems like a big beautiful present just waiting to be unwrapped. I can’t decide if I should rip it open or take the tape off carefully and fold the paper and  savour the moment.

Let the new term begin! I have the class sheets up-to-date. I have taken many of the pictures  and added them to the workshop descriptions on our website. Today I am taking the last of the pictures and I will add them. The sample are on display in the store and I must say they are looking great. It’s like the new term is all nicely gift wrapped and ready to begin.

I am so very sorry if you missed registration on Saturday morning. It was a blast! I have said it before  and I will say it again. Having the store filled with all that love is magical. We had people who love learning, love teaching, love-making things and love sharing. It makes my heart sing to have the shop filled with my favourite kind of people chatting and comparing notes. I love quiet time but I also love community time. The two are flip sides of the same coin, the coin of happiness. It reminds me of the potluck dinners at the Community Hall when I was a kid. Thanks to everyone -teachers, students and customers, I hope you had as much fun as I did. The problem with everyone arriving at once is I don’t get to spend enough time with any one person. So come back and visit now that I have time.

We have a few weeks before the term begins, so come in have a look at the samples you may find something you would like to make. There are two new classes that were announced on Saturday. If I could settle down enough I would give you that information but that will have to wait for another day. I want to get the picture-taking finished and off my list. If you look right down to the end of the workshops you will at least see the pictures of them.

I also have all the new treasures from Tucson to get out. Lots to do and everything is so exciting.  I tell myself don’t rush,…. this is your life, ….savour it… enjoy it….spend it wisely ,….focus!!!

I hear myself, I am listening and even letting it sink in. Yet part of me just wants to rip the paper off and see what life has for me today!!


Warning- this blog is helping me discover what it is I actually believe in. So for those of you that don’t really care:

The gist is just keep on Beading. Come out and sign up for classes, spend time with like-minded people and know that creative time is important to your well-being. For the rest of you, read on……

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”

Pablo Picasso

This is one of my all time favourite quotes.

I picasso 1believe it is  our thoughts that create the world we live in. Therefore each of us, is actually creating all the time. Now if what we create comes from ego, we create experiences of separation, conflict and pain. If we come from Spirit we create community, joy and peace.

So to create the life we want, we must understand what it is  we actually  believe and who we are.  And although that may seem to some, one in the same, to me it is not. I believe what we believe can be changed but who we are, can not. Who we are is the core of our being. What we believe is the accumulation of data and experiences we have created.

Picasso also said:

“Everything you can imagine is real”

Pablo Picasso


I have always found I am closest to understanding this when I am still.  picassogirlonapillowThat special place where life slows down and I can truly experience silence and actually touch my thoughts. Where I can dream and believe in them.

I think as children we come knowing who we are.

So I think Picasso is saying, how do we create from spirit, how do we get back to ourselves, how do we create from our core.

I  believe passion is the gateway to doing this. Find what you are passionate about and follow that path to the center of your being. Never give up, yes you can slow  life down so you can hear, understand, and  even change things that don’t fit with your new reality but never give up!

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced”

Vincent van Gogh

So believe in your self, don’t listen to the voice that says you’re not good enough.

Bead through it, the voice will be silenced.inspirationTransforming - swamp


“Handmaking teaches us to respect the slow, attentive piecing together of the life we yearn for. Stitch by stitch, we apprentice the craft. We work in tandem with mystery, feeling its rhythms awaken in our bone-memory. We realise the patience it takes to make a life materialize. There are no shortcuts and it can’t be done cheaply or en masse. The work is small, the work is slow and all we can do is stay with it.
As Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “the shortcut, the easy way, always falls apart. Then one returns to the handmade life. One has to pick it up painfully, and piece it back together, holding the overall pattern in one’s mind, but working patiently, piece by piece.”

– Toko Pa via Dreamwork with Toko-pa
read full article here:

This quote gives me a little insight into why we do what we do. I am happiest when I have spend  time beading. It doesn’t matter if I get a lot done, it just matters if I have spent time slowing down life. I have to admit I don’t like a whole lot of company when I bead. I like it to be quiet, very quiet. I have only had one friend that could be quiet enough to bead a whole day with me. To sit in silence with someone else for hours and share that intimate space it truly a treat. These days it is just a treat to find that “wrinkle in time” where I can tuck myself in and  spend the day.

Of course the other side of the coin that brings balance and makes the depth of the beading experience reality is to learn something new and spend time with others. I am probably one of the most fortunate person I know. Taking classes and spending time with other talented creative like minded people bringbox of ringss depth, excitement and joy to my life. Although the days that I spend in the shop with a whole group of people learning something new seems to pass so quickly, in reality I think it is like summer holidays as a child. It is only because it is just so much fun. I think learning goes best with others. I know taking it home and exploring it, spending time looking at the detail, rearranging the new thoughts is best done in quiet. Actually learning something new with others takes the edge off the unknown. It is like holding hands with someone in the dark. Certainly it is helpful if you know that person and are comfortable. Have faith they know what they are doing. Yet in reality we just like company when we are exploring something new. Exploring is what keeps us young. Learning keeps the brain active and doing it with others keeps our world expanding. Can you tell I am excited about the new term. It is  “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna  get”. Of course  this is a quote from Forest Gump but I would add  “always better when shared with friends.” So come share my box of chocolates. The box opens this Saturday so get there early for best choice.

Registration for new classes February 20th 10 am. check yesterday blog for more details and some exciting